Created by on 06/20/2011


On June 15th, the House Appropriations Committee passed its fiscal year (FY) 2012 Energy & Water (E&W) funding bill by a vote of 26-20. The legislation funds the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE SC) at a level of $4.80 billion, approximately $43 million (0.89 percent) below the enacted level of $4.84 billion in the full year FY 2011 “continuing resolution”and $616 million below the President’s FY 2012 request of $5.41 billion. In addition, $100 million was provided for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program.
The full committee did not make any changes to the DOE SC provisions in the version of the bill that was approved by the House E&W Subcommittee on June 1st. At both the full committee and subcommittee mark-ups, a number of Congressmen noted the importance of federal investment in basic sciences to U.S. competitiveness. In his opening statement, E&W Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) said, “Science research at the Department of Energy strengthens American competitiveness and enables true breakthroughs in the energy sector, and the bill preserves strong funding for this program.”
Although the bill’s accompanying report featured several statements in support of DOE SC research, it also expressed concerns regarding management and oversight at the department. The committee requested that DOE SC issue reports and performance plans on a number of its initiatives, including DOE SC education programs, the Energy Innovation Hubs, and the Energy Frontier Research Centers. Appropriators also questioned the department’s practice of using multi-year awards to fund research projects, and they included “a general provision prohibiting any new projects, programs, or activities within the department’s energy accounts that are not fully funded by the Congress.” 

Opening statements by House E&W Subcommittee Ranking Member Pete Visclosky (D-IN) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), as well as a press release summarizing the committee proceedings and adopted amendments are available on the Appropriations Committee website. The bill is expected to be considered on the House floor the week of July 4th.